Happy NaNoWriMo!

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While November is mostly known as No Shave November or Movember, it also happens to be National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to take time out of this month to write 50,000 words, keeping track of the word count on the NaNoWriMo nonprofit’s website. Obviously, the point of this project is not to create a novel and have it ready to publish in 30 days, but to get the creative juices flowing and the ideas, both good and not so good, out on paper/Word. But as it turns out, there actually are some successful novels that began with NaNoWriMo, including Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. So let that encourage you.

If the thought of writing a novel seems daunting, consider writing a short story, poems, blog posts, journal entries, screenplays, letters, thoughts on an article, book, or film… Whatever you want, really. All that matters is that you write. NaNoWriMo recognizes that everyone is super busy–probably too busy to write 50,000 words. But it’s precisely for this reason that you should participate anyway. Because, honestly, you would probably never be motivated to start during any other month of the year, right? And the world needs not only more writers, but even more people who are thoughtful, creative, and understanding as a result of writing.

So register for an account here and begin. You have absolutely nothing to lose, but so much to gain. If you end up reaching 50,000 words before the end of the month, you win! (And there are prizes awarded by the organization for finishing.) If you need ideas for writing topics or want someone to look over a draft, I’d love to help.

Also, for some added inspiration (both in art and life in general), check out Sarah Jessica Parker’s new web series about the New York City Ballet. Twelve five-minute episodes capture the demanding, but amazing lives of some of the world’s best dancers–people who know all about making sacrifices to live out their dreams.

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